- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Legislation changing the regulation of copper mines could soon become law.

Republican Sen. Tom Casperson’s bill - which was enrolled Wednesday after being approved by the GOP-led House 74-35 Tuesday - would establish separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The bill would also not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.

Casperson says it would not be economically feasible to have smaller mines regulated the same as bigger ones and doing so could hurt job growth.

Opponents of the legislation such as the Michigan Environmental Council worry it does not have enough safety precautions to protect against damage to the environment and to local water supplies.

The bill goes to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

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